Since 1905, Red Wing Heritage has remained steadfast in producing high-quality boots and shoes. The American shoe manufacturer is one of the most reputable in the industry today.
These are among the company’s best-selling welted boots and perhaps the most versatile boots you can get on the market today.
A round toe style boot, the Beckman is made from Red Wing’s exclusive Cigar Featherstone dress leather. This leather has a polished surface that radiates striking beauty and quality.
The Blacksmith, on the other hand, is designed with blacksmiths in mind. Its Vibram 430 mini-lug sole will outlive any other boots you own. Typical of a blacksmith’s boot, this boot looks rugged and reliable. It’ll take a harsh beating and still look great.
But which one of the two should you buy?
These boots are quite similar, but they have a number of differences that make each one special in its own right. We are going to take a detailed look at those differences so that you can choose the boot that best suits your needs.
Before we delve into the details, take a quick glance at their features:
Comparing Red Wing Beckman vs Blacksmith
Our Best Pick
|Smooth-Finished Leather||Black Eyelets|
|Oil-Tanned Leather||Dull Gilt Hooks and Eyelets|
Now, the details.
The most notable difference between the Red Wing Blacksmith and Red Wing Beckman is their style. The Blacksmith features a casual style that is typical of a jobsite boot, thanks to its rough and tough leather and slip resistant soles.
The Beckman, on the other hand, radiates a more refined aura. It features glossier,polishable leather and a burlier sole. This makes it a perfect choice if you are looking for a dress boot.
The Beckman and the Blacksmith have a lot in common when it comes to their construction, but here are the most notable similarities:
- Goodyear Welt construction – Both boots can be re-soled or rebuilt when they get worn out. This can help you save money in the long run as you won’t have to purchase new boots often. You can expect the boots to serve you for several more years with every repair and resole.
- 8 last – After they are broken in, these boots deliver about the same fit thanks to the fact that they are both constructed on the Red Wing’s number 8 last – a type of 3-D shoe mold.
The Blacksmith and the Beckman use different types of leather on their uppers. While the Blacksmith uses Copper Rough & Tough oil-tanned leather, the Beckman sportsCigar Featherstone Smooth Finished leather.
The oil-tanned leather on Red Wing Blacksmith is stain, water, and perspiration resistant. This leather is incredibly durable. It has a more natural appearance because it has not been subjected to too much processing.
However, the most remarkable thing about oil-tanned leather is that it develops a lovely patina over time. While other types of leather lose their charm the more you wear them, this leather looks much better. You just need to take good care of it.
Even scratches serve to enrich the look of the boot. If you want a boot that can take a beating and still look good, the Blacksmith will make a great choice.
However, it may not be a good choice if you are looking for dress boots.
Red Wing Beckman boots make a better choice for dress boots. The smooth-finished leather on the boots’ uppers exemplifies beauty and elegance. All you need is some polish to uphold their striking, classic look.
Smooth finished leathers are made using only premium-grade hides. Unfortunately, this type of leather has a minimal chance of developing that same patina.
The boots are likely to soften over time, and any wrinkles and scuffs they develop may detract from their appearance.
Red Wing Blacksmith and Beckman feature different types of outsoles. While the Beckman sports a leather sole with Vibram Roccia outsoles, the Blacksmith has a Vibram 430 Mini-Lug outsole.
The Roccia outsoles on the Beckman are a popular sole design, thanks to their exceptional comfort, durable engineering, and shock absorption capability.
It is the typical construction boot sole with deep lugs for greater traction.
These outsoles make Red Wing Beckman a perfect choice for extremely cold climates.
However, if you want boots that are ideal for wet conditions, you should go for the Blacksmith.
The Vibram 430 Mini-Lug outsoles feature shallow lugs in the middle and are slip resistant. That means it is not as slippery as the Beckman’s Roccia.
You can expect excellent traction and tons of grip from these soles even if you are walking on the ice.
However, in choosing between the Beckman and the Blacksmith, we would put our money on the Beckman.
Red Wing Beckman makes a better value for the money. It is much dressier and versatile than the Blacksmith.
Whether you want a rough and tough boot that can withstand the beatings at the jobsite, a boot that you can confidently wear to the office, or a boot you can wear to a dinner date, you can’t go wrong with the Beckman. This boot will look great with virtually anything.
However, if you prefer something more classic and that has a more masculine feel, you should choose the Red Wing Blacksmith. Its oil-tanned leather looks lovelier as it grows old, thanks to its unique sheen. They are great for casual wear and light work.